Proper hygiene and access to amenities that facilitate good hygiene are a basic necessity. As the fight to combat and prevent homelessness in the County continues, the Metro Board of Directors passed a motion, authored by Director Hilda L. Solis and co-authored by Directors Sheila Kuehl, Kathryn Barger, Paul Krekorian, and John Fasana to report on a preliminary implementation plan to establish a hygiene and mobile shower program for the homeless population in or near Metro stations.
“Homelessness is a reality for nearly 58,000 people in the County. Providing access to adequate sanitation is a basic human right. Lack of hygiene facilities around our transit stations impacts our health and quality of life, and the depth of this problem is apparent and impacting our transit riders and station-adjacent communities,” said Metro Director and LA County Supervisor Solis. “For children, a shower is often the difference between going to school or not. Above all, this can help people regain their self-confidence and dignity – even if they are experiencing homelessness. I am proud of our Metro Board as we work together to make LA County a better place to live.”
Metro Director and LA County Supervisor Kuehl added, “This motion represents another important effort among several dozen strategies that the County has launched as part of its action plan to reduce homelessness. Providing showers not only helps people with their basic hygiene, it also helps to restore dignity and makes it easier to connect people to the services needed to put them on a path from homelessness to housing.”
Today’s motion calls for a report back to the Board in 120 days with a full analysis identifying and prioritizing high-need metro stations. The motion also asks to collaborate with Los Angeles County’s Office of Homeless Initiative, Department of Public Health, Department of Public Works, and other relevant Departments. The goal will be to establish a multi-phase pilot program at select stations, including the Westlake/MacArthur Park Station on the Red/Purple Line Stations.
Hygiene and mobile shower stations provide effective solutions to promote hygiene and prevent the spread of infectious diseases. This past February, the Board of Supervisors officially established the new County Mobile Showers Program, launching at Whittier Narrows Park in the City of South El Monte. Those experiencing homelessness now have the opportunity to access a shower and take care of their hygiene needs. Mobile shower providers report that access to mobile showers can help individuals to retain and obtain employment, increase self-esteem and well-being, and may facilitate uptake of other services.
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